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JMSC Students Published in HKU’s Environmental Sustainability Website

Four JMSC Master of Journalism students have contributed to the University of Hong Kong’s sustainability website, Sustainability@HKU.

Left to right: Alexis Lai, Anne Rezenbrink, Lionel Mok, Elisa Qiu. Photo taken by AJ Libunao

Anne Renzenbrink, Elisa Qiu, Lionel Mok and Alexis Lai, all MJs 2012, are taking Miklos Sukosd‘s Environmental Communication course.

They reviewed the documentaries as a way of experiential learning in this course.

The green films screenings were arranged by HKU’s Sustainability Office.

The office was established in 2008 and reports jointly to the Director of Estates and the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

It publishes an annual sustainability report  about HKU, defines green goals for the university and coordinates all kinds of environmental activities.

Anne Renzenbrink, from Germany, reviewed the movie Plastic Planet, which is about the use and spread of plastic worldwide.

“It discusses how there is an omnipresence of plastic and how our lives and everything we do depends on plastic (‘our life cycle is a plastic cycle’),” said Renzenbrink.

“The film further discussed how plastic harms our health as drinking from scratched water bottles or eating fish from the ocean that is full of plastic causes the plastic to penetrate our bodies, which results in us having plastic even in our blood!”

Renzenbrink is a strong believer in environmental journalism.

“I think it is the journalist’s job to advocate environmental protection since the perception of climate change, overfishing, extinction of species and every sort of environmental aspects has not reached everyone yet,” Renzenbrink said.

“It is our job to let the public know about these problems, about what governments could do to solve them and what everyone can do personally to reduce environmental pollution or climate change.”

“That’s why I am taking Miklos Sukosd’s class — I hope to learn how to approach environmental issues as a journalist and eventually report on them to increase public awareness of this topic.”

Elisa Qiu, from Shanghai, reviewed the film Wasteland.

“The movie is about an artist’s journey to Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill on the outskirt of Rio de Janeiro,” Qui said. “He worked with several local garbage pickers to do some artwork using recycled materials and, during this process, discovered their emotional stories, which were really touching.”

“I notice that in mainland China there is not much reporting about environmental issues from a macro view,” Qui, who worked as a reporter before attending the JMSC, said.

“I care about global warming, pollution and recycling issues and I think that perhaps I will do some environmental reporting in my future job.”

“All of the articles are smart, touching upon subjects in the movies, covering the screening events, quoting students, and reflecting on what students and HKU can do regarding the issues,” said Sukosd. “Heartfelt congratulations to all authors!”

Ann Kildahl, HKU’s Sustainability Manager, said students’ work was of real value to HKU and the wider community.

“By producing high-quality, original content for our site and Facebook page, we can broaden awareness of important issues  — for example climate change, water, waste and food security — and expand the audience for future events. It’s a great arrangement — big thanks to Miklos Sukosd for making it possible!”